Predictions for 2018

Designing for immediacy

Sharing and showing live content is snowballing. Technology and location barriers are gone. Slowly but surely cities are being re-shaped to give better telephone and wifi signal. Social media is pushing brands and retail owners to make their product irresistible to consumers. Share it and share it now.

This immediacy is also carrying over into other channels

Gone are the days of users waiting days for deliveries or waiting more than a few seconds to load your service onto their digital device.

  • In 2016 Google found that 53% of mobile visitors will leave a webpage if it didn’t load in three seconds.
  • 19 seconds is the average time a mobile website takes to load on a 3G connection while 4G takes 14 seconds.
  • “The Need for Mobile Speed” paper by Google, found websites on mobile devices that loaded in five seconds or less performed much better than those that didn’t. Mobile sites that loaded within five seconds boast 25% higher ad viewing, 70% longer average sessions and a 35% lower bounce rate.

Expectations are changing fast

Why wait for a doctor? Health providers are now offering video calls with a five-minute delay while you sit on your couch.

Push Doctor. One of many apps taking advantage of new technologies and our growing lack of patience — https://www.pushdoctor.co.uk/

Countless retailers are now offering same day delivery. Amazon is going a step further by trialling air drone deliveries in the UK, delivery within two hours. Data is becoming more cloud-based; get any information immediately to your device.

This year many brands and companies will take a step back and look at their whole business. Define how they can still be used and enjoyed by consumers in a world that is ruled and can be disrupted by immediacy.

The influence of voice (VUI)

The popularity of conversational experiences was big in 2017 and will continue to grow well into and beyond 2018. For specific activities, users are moving away from screens and focussing their attention on the invisible.

Amazon Alexa soon to be joined by the HomePod from Apple

Speaking to your phone out in the open may seem unnatural at first for us oldies. But the younger millennial generation are embracing voice firmly.

  • 25% of 16–24s are using voice search regularly — via Global Web Index.
  • Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products — via Social Media Today.
  • ComScore estimates that 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2020.

More so in 2018 companies are considering voice as the next big thing. When a user asks Alexa to order more soap, Alexa will do so. Alexa by default does not ask you “Which brand of soap would you like?”. With VUI increasing fast, can you afford not to be available via Alexa, Siri, Cortana or Google?

Accessibility will come first

Whether you’re in the public or private sector, there are web laws and guides that you should comply to.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 have become universally adopted as the best way to ensure that a site is accessible. The current version of WCAG was published back in 2008.

Image Credit

A new version is on the way

This update aims to expand and increase accessibility for people with disabilities such as low vision and speech disabilities. The guidelines are also there to aid designers and developers to enhance experiences on smaller devices.

Most people cannot afford to avoid the digital world. According to the Office for National Statistics: Internet use by retired adults has increased by almost 22% since 2011 to 61% in 2017. This number is only going to grow. Most big brands are already accommodating disabled users, but in 2018 we will see less established brands offer more UI assistance and startups will look to get in first and gain users trust.

Conclusion

2017 has been a year of adoption and change as users have been introduced to easier and more enjoyable experiences. Everyone’s life data will be used in more complex ways enabling us to spend our cash much quicker and find what we want much faster.

2018 will see us getting older for longer, test our patience and conversational experiences will grow and become more advanced as AI continues to blossom within the web.

It’s time to start thinking beyond just your search rankings and social media and see how these trends will impact your business and more importantly your users.